How to identify whole wheat bread without label

Discussion in 'Bread' started by foscor70, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. foscor70

    foscor70 New Member

    Apr 12, 2019
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    Suppose I have a random slice of bread without any package or label. Is there any way to know if it's made up of mostly whole wheat or not?
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
    foscor70, Apr 12, 2019
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  2. foscor70

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2017
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    Northern California
    There’s no way to accurately determine the type of flour(s) used just by looking at a slice of bread.

    But a loaf made with all whole wheat, or the majority of whole wheat will be darker in color, dense, heavy, and low compared to a loaf made with more refined flour or a blend of refined flour and whole wheat flour. There may be flecks of grain if the flour was stone milled.

    Most bakeries do not make all whole wheat bread because it poses a number of production challenges.

    whole wheat flour goes rancid very quickly

    it requires 100% hydration or more, which creates a watery dough that requires advanced skills and additional time to work

    the bran and wheat germ in the flour adds weight and changes the protein to starch content; this produces a dense texture, and a very low rise

    the bran (husk) cuts through the gluten structure during kneading, undermining the dough strength and further contributing to a low dense loaf

    A dense heavy loaf does not appeal to the average consumers

    Commercially milled whole wheat flour is really a misnomer as it starts with refined flour. Almost all large scale production mills refine the wheat kernels, meaning they separate the bran, wheat germ, and endosperm. The bran and wheat germ are added back in different proportions to create different types of flours.

    The flour that will become “whole wheat” has more of the bran and germ added back in. In the US, the ratio of bran and germ added back
    to the refined flour has to equal
    that of a wheat kernel for the flour to be labeled whole wheat.

    Nutritionalists say the there’s a difference in how reassemble whole wheat flour is digested and whole wheat flour that is milled with the whole kernel. So if that is a concern, then a stone ground flour from a artisan mill would be the better flour choice.
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 12, 2019
    Becky likes this.
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